“Apple Inc. is outsourcing ad sales for Apple News to NBCUniversal,” Mike Shields reports for The Wall Street Journal. “As part of a new partnership between the two companies, NBCUniversal will be able to sell ads across Apple News in the U.S. starting in 2017.”

“NBCU will be the only company that can sell ad inventory that has historically been controlled by Apple, such as ad units that appear between stories or ads within search results on the mobile app,” Shields reports. “Apple will no longer sell any ads on the Apple News product.”

“Individual publishers can still sell ads that appear alongside content they distribute via the news app,” Shields reports. “While NBCU has the option to sell ads alongside publishers’ content, those news outlets can elect to opt out of the program.”

“There are 4,000 publishers currently distributing content via Apple News, which is now preinstalled on all Apple devices,” Shields reports. “Apple says that the news reading product has 70 million active monthly users, though it doesn’t disclose what defines an active user.”

“As part of the deal, NBCU won’t gain any access to either Apple user data or individual publishers’ audience datas,” Shields reports. “When buying ad space through NBCU, marketers won’t be able to cherry pick the publishers they want to run ads alongside… NBCU will sell and target ads using content categories like News or Sports.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple takes another step toward getting out of the business of directly selling ads (but not from profiting from ad placements).

SEE ALSO:
Apple News opens the floodgates – March 16, 2016
Apple’s new Apple News native ads could fool you – March 15, 2016
Apple plans to offer subscription content through Apple News app – January 26, 2016
Apple mistakenly underestimating number of readers using Apple News app since launch – January 11, 2016
Publishers underwhelmed with Apple News app – November 13, 2015
AMP: Accelerated Mobile Pages are Google’s response to ad blockers and news apps like Apple News – October 15, 2015
Google’s new Accelerated Mobile Pages meant to keep users in Web browsers and out of dedicated apps
Following Apple News, Google preps Accelerated Mobile Pages – October 7, 2015
Apple News is fast, responsive, enjoyable, and it might become your only news app – July 15, 2015
Apple News shows that Apple wants to bolster and profit from ads, not eliminate them – July 10, 2015
Apple News to have human curation – and that raises issues – June 15, 2015
How Apple’s mobile ad-blocker could backfire on the company and iPhone, iPad users – June 12, 2015
Hats off to Web advertising – no, really – July 6, 2015
Apple’s support of mobile ad blocking may upend how the web works – June 12, 2015